tv [untitled] CSPAN June 26, 2009 8:30am-9:00am EDT
one of the most coal-dependent regions of the country, virginia, and we built in signet and revisions come as i talked about. a research fund for coal superstation -- the sequestration. i am for my hydro-depended place but all of the permits are going to the coal regions and utilities. it was not so happy in my region in the world, but it is in the bill and i will vote for the bill because it will help the communities who are all dependent utilities to make sure they do not have job loss and i'm confident that will be the case so we can finally use coal cleanly. you may have also talked to this person in tim's office before we struck an agreement to have major amendments to the bill that were very helpful to the agricultural community. the agriculture community in this country has a bright future in developing bio energy
sources, advanced forms of sully a lawsuit energy, how job-based energy -- cellulosic, algae- based energy. we struck a deal that made advances to allow members that represent farm communities to address the bill. they know, frankly, there are bad things out and the farm community. when iowa starts to look like mexico, when kansas had six months of 90 degree days which a the noaa reports they will have by 2018, that is not good for agriculture. progress of folks in agriculture understand it is not a solution. we need to embrace innovation and need to get back on the job of america leading the world saving the planet, and we will
do that starting today. host: we will leave it at that. thank you for joining us. we will speak to a governor, republican from pr, when we come back. -- puerto rico when we come back. >> as this year's supreme court term comes to an end, here chief justice robert talk about the court's work. and a panel of experience court watchers, including linda greenhouse, jan crawford greenberg, and ted olson review decisions handed down. saturday morning line. this week's of the release of more than 150 hours of secret recordings from the nixon white house -- from early 1973, on the agreement to end the vietnam
war. >> they are not to have any advanced information. the message is not to be from me, clear? >> more from the newly released tapes, saturday afternoon on c- span radio. >> this weekend, book tv features books of the economy. saturday, tips on how to deal with the current economic crisis from pat robertson, founder of the christian broadcasting network. cnbc commentator on whom to blame for the recession. we will also feature martin featureannelise anderson on why reagan believed destroying nuclear-weapons would bring an end to the soviet union. and a talk about pakistan with new york post columnist ralph peters. the entire schedule is on line with great new features, including streaming video and easy to search archives.
booktv.org. >> "washington journal" continues. joining us is governor lius fortino, a republican from puerto rico. why are you in town? guest: first of all this health corp. -- health-care concerns. i represent 4 million citizens. secondly, some other issue that we normally have. the meeting today with secretary kathleen sibelius, and also secretary napolitano -- as any other governor i have plenty of things to do. on wednesday morning i was testifying before the natural resources committee. there is a bill providing for a congressional mandate plebiscites on puerto rican status. host: health care, how is puerto
rico fairing? guest: we have never feared well, although i represent 4 million citizens and even though per-capita we contribute more men and women to every war except for one state. we still -- four major programs that encompass health care. medicaid, medicare, cobra and schip -- even though we pay taxes, we did not produce a big fully. when you come from a territory, things are different. we are willing to carry our burden fully, as any other state, but certainly want to partake in the process as well. host: in terms of health care, whether you advocating for? what does puerto rico need? guest: us governors one flexibility, but in terms of puerto rico specifically, i want to assure in terms of managing we participate fully.
right now we are capped, recently 17% of the federal contribution where as the minimal states are 50% and four states with our demographics, it is 83%. so we are putting up for the rest at the state level. that affects the health care of my constituents. separately, on medicare, medical providers, both physicians, hospitals, and so on, are not treated equally in many ways. and i want to make sure that even though we are paying for medicare taxes, payroll taxes, that we get the same treatment. the same thing with s-chip -- small children that need medical services, and want to make sure that we cover them. we have the same aspirations as every other governor and i want to make sure that 100% of my constituents are covered, but we don't have the tools. host: to that end, do you
support a public auction? guest: necessarily. i do believe we need to take care of everybody, but if there is a private auction that is working, i should not undo that private option. i believe that we should go out into the marketplace and provide for -- in the case of puerto rico, between 8% to 10% of my constituents are not covered with any insurance. we should provide some sort of insurance for them. perhaps the state will have to pay part of the coverage, perhaps they can put up some of the money depending on their income. perhaps the federal government could help us in that process. but i think we should do it by going into the marketplace and acquiring that insurance. host: speaking to the governor of puerto rico. if you would like to call in --
host: let us talk about another issue you are in town for the territory's status of pr. why is it still a territory? guest: after 111 years being part of this great nation, and over 90 years of being u.s. citizens, because we're all u.s. citizens, we are still territory and you wonder why. that has to be a political will both in puerto rico and congress. we never been asked ever by congress what is our preference. what i'm advocating for is hr 2489, to ask is whether we want to change. host: how you ask? guest: it should be a direct question posed to the voters. host: do you need congressional approval? guest: we have congressional approval, the voters would know everyone needs -- means business, and for the second round, the second round of
questions would be what status to you want? do you want to become a state, independent republics -- republic, or a sovereign nation -- three options are acceptable under the u.s. constitution and international law. and we want to make sure that the voters know that no one tinkered with those definitions. if congress does that, the voters would know that these are the only options that they will define and congress means business. otherwise, if we do it locally, each party will actually -- could tinker with the definitions and the voters what action to be turned off. host: which do you support? i guest: support statehood, but i respect the voters decide for something else. i believe most voters will favor statehood, but then again, in a democracy, we have to hear what the voters have to say and i would go along with what ever
the voters decide. host: what kind of reception have gotten from democrats in congress, did they support? guest: this bill is supported by 100 democrats and 50 republicans roughly. we have widespread support, i would say. actually there was a hearing on wednesday morning at the national resources committee that has jurisdiction of the territories, and that went well. the chairman from west virginia stated he would have a markup session pretty soon. so i am hopeful that the bill will be taken after that to the floor for a vote, and by then hopefully we would be closer to 200 co-sponsors. that is pretty significant. it is a bipartisan effort. host: what about the white house? guest: president barack obama send me a letter for my swearing in last january and he committed to the process. so we have not heard anything officially other than the
letter, but i'm hopeful but president will support this. we are demanding democratic processes in afghanistan and iraq and iran, and how come we will not do it with 4 million u.s. citizens, citizens who have always been willing to actually defend our democracy? actually there are more active in our -- and they are more active in our armed forces that all states but one, proportionately speaking. i am cognizant of the fact that congress has to take the lead. host: of the first call is on the democratic line. butch from jackson, wyoming. caller: good morning. i thought the discussion was about health care and not puerto rico's status. we have to take the profit out of health care. it should be a right and not for profit. number two, we should start
taxing church property. they should be helping with health care and the property should be taxed. i don't understand why it is not being taxed. number three, education for doctors. it is costing too much to become a doctor. they should -- the government should pay for their health care by them volunteering into wall air -- rural areas and slum areas so we can have health care throughout that. i would like to ask a question, at the scene the movie "60s -- sicko." he took three busloads volunteered 9/11 and helped find bodies -- he took them to gtmo because the prisoners over there, the so-called terrorist were getting better health care
that american citizens. he took these volunteers and gtmo would not let them in. he took them to cuba and they get free health care. that is a situation. q. but is a much poorer countries but yet they are able to give their citizens free health care. that is what i would like to see addressed. guest: sure, i agree with the gentleman in terms of health care being a right and i believe that in america everyone should have a right to decent health care services. actually that is our aspiration in puerto rico and exactly what i am trying to do. having said that, however, i did not think cuba should be a model for us. actually i have been to cuba, when there was going to be an opening in the 1990's, many chambers of congress across the country were organizing trips and i went on one of the trips. health care services in cuba are not our model. we should not be looking towards cuba for that. i believe we have excellent health care professionals in
this country. of course, i agreed that we need to make it easier to become a physician or a health-care professional in one way or another. but i do not think we should look toward cuba, but i think what we need to do is fix the system here and we have the foundations to do that. host: independent line, just in from illinois. caller: first-time caller and it is great to be on. i would like to agree with the last caller about how our medical system is costing too much and i believe that anyone that had it in them to go through college and make it as a doctor or attorney should have their education paid for free and i also believe doctors are getting paid way too much. topical know, michael jackson who just recently passed away, they just reported there was only one doctor at a hospital at the time he was brought in. i just wanted to make the point that instead of spending one trillion dollars -- $1 trillion
, up 12 zeros behind it, winston churchill said a nation cannot tax itself into prosperity, like standing in a locket and trying to pull yourself up by the handle, it is not going to work. recently they were talking in the senate and house about a missile defense bill and everything, costing $1.9 billion and i would like to point out that barney frank stolen over $50 billion, more than our country is spending on missile research. anyway i just really wanted to call and say that the american people are being taxed to death and we need to audit the federal reserve the because $14 trillion or 15 trillion -- $15 trillion of our wealth is being sent overseas and we cannot afford anything. our last note i just believe that if americans had access just to dentistry, then we would
not really have all of this health care because we really have minor things going on with us and we just want a little bit of care and i did not think we will get it by spending ourselves to death. guest: well, first of all i agree in a sense that we should not be taxing the american taxpayer even more. i do not think we can carry the burden any further. what we need to do certainly is, i believe we could be more cost- effective in many ways. i believe that true competition could bring about lowering costs, and i believe that we need to make sure that we emphasize prevention. health care prevention is something in this country we are not doing enough of it. and actually we could be saving significant money by doing that. secondly, when we addressed different pockets of the population, there are chronic illnesses that have to be addressed, and what we should be doing really is making sure that
they have access, those with cardiovascular problems, as small, or other pulmonary problems with diabetes, that they have access immediately not to primary care but to specialists who will be taking care of them and act with their quality of life would be much better and we could save money. but in order to do that, the way the system is structured right now, we are spending too much money, we are not achieving our goals as we showed. host: stone mountain georgia, lee on the republican line. caller: how are you folks? governor, i just wanted to make swans a brief comment. one is i think it would be in your best interest, with all due respect, to actually think about running for president of kennedy in 2012. i say that not to joke at all -- presidential candidate in 2010. to get your reference -- message out regarding statehood for
puerto rico, and also just being in the public eye it would cause more individuals to be concerned about your plight and i do believe taxation without representation is a hypocrisy we do not deserve in this nation. guest: thank you, sir. certainly i will do anything i can short of running for any other office to make sure that we are heard. i thank you for your concerns for the 4 million u.s. citizens who live in puerto rico. the fact is, if any of my constituents moved to the states, they can vote for the president, they would have two senators and one voting member of congress representing them. if the gentleman from georgia moved to puerto rico to retire or work there, he would lose the senators, lose a voting member of congress and would not be able to vote in the next presidential election in 2012. it is something that would have to be fixed one way or another.
actually the founding fathers never intended for 4 million u.s. citizens who serve in the military shoulder to shoulder with everyone else to be disenfranchised from and in that sense i believe the gentleman is right in a sense that we need to bring this issue out in the open and actually hopefully congress will be able to address it. host: have a constitutional matter, can the governor of puerto rico run for president? guest: certainly a u.s. citizen can vote for president -- but that is frankly not something i'm thinking about. just making sure we are heard in town. host got a story from the associated press -- saying pr fired nearly 8000 government workers friday, the start of a wave of layoffs as the island struggles through recession. in the first round included mostly temporary clerical workers. the governor said he needs to cut 30,000 public sector jobs on an island where more than one- fifth of the people work for the local government.
guest: i inherited five months ago proportionately speaking the largest state budget deficit in the country, largest -- larger than california's. this budget for the fiscal year that commences next week, we are forced to cut $2 billion out of state budget. but i did not want to raise taxes. i am very sorry. i think the taxpayer is caring and of the burden already come and i am very sorry about having to cut. we are trying to cut everywhere i can. i have cut down on official vehicles. i canceled all credit cards, including the governor's credit card. i'm doing what we need to do to actually make sure that the taxpayers' money needs to get -- that's where it needs to come of those in need services. i want the state government to get out of the ways of the rest of our citizens can actually improve their quality of life
and get ahead and achieve the american dream. that is our message and that is what governors across the country are trying to do. host: democratic line, how, south dakota. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am directly against this health care proposal -- direly against this proposal. congress is not listening to the american people. they are not listening to us on health care, they are not listening to us on the war. talking about a do nothing congress that bush had, and now we are talking about a congress that is full of deception and lies. as a vietnam veteran, let me say that the va is taking care of me.
i don't like some, but they do the job -- i do not like them, but they do the job. look at the veterans at the hospitals with the colonoscopy checks -- that is horrible. these are the true heroes, and the care we are getting through the va, we are being neglected. guest: sir, first of all, i want to thank you for your service to the country and i want to thank every veteran out there who have actually served our country as you have. actually i am sure many of my constituents serve alongside with you in vietnam, as they did in korea, and europe during the second world war, and in both gulf war's end as they are doing today and afghanistan and iraq. in that sense, actually i have over 150,000 veterans in part 3 of that, believe cannot, don't
have the same access -- it does not apply just because it is a territory. if they moved to georgia or florida or new york , they new givetricare -- they would get tricare. we are treated equally in wartime, but not peace time. the plight of our veterans across the country, but especially in my case, both live in puerto rico come as close to my heart. imagine the men and women in uniform from puerto rico who may have served alongside you, sir, who did not have a right to enact their commander in chief. just imagine whether it is correct, morally speaking, in the 21st century in the freest and greatest country of the world. that is why i think congress should react -- act soon. host: the next caller,
republican line from alabama. caller: i'm certain puerto rico has many of the same problems the rest of the united states is suffering from, and a lot of that is simply poured leadership. you know, you can't borrow the amount of money they borrow and call that business as usual. actually the government does not create wealth, it only creates bureaucracy. those are not real jobs. make work -- like in prison, they just make jobs up for you. they last a little while but they are not real jobs, they did not account for anything. small-business is the backbone of america. that is what -- we need to put the backbone back where it needs to be. some of the leaders that we have up there, they are just
absolutely pitiful. they have no concept of business of any kind. they just spend, spend, spend, and they don't create anything. sorry, i am very upset. a lot of people in america are upset at what is going on up there. guest: sir, i couldn't agree with you more and that is why at least many of the governors are doing exactly what you are asking washington to do. i don't believe we can tax the american taxpayer another dime. and i believe the government should do what every american family is doing every single day, making sure we can make ends meet. and that is exactly what i am doing in puerto rico. you were alluding to the news, being forced to cut down in our work force in the government, at the state level, and other ways as well. well, every american taxpayer needs a break, and we cannot keep taxing our taxpayers more and more. that is what most governors are doing. i am not the exception, i am the
rule, i believe. most governors are doing exactly what i'm doing. we are giving back to our constituents by making sure that the government actually provides basic services to those that need it, but that we did not spend more than we are taking in and that is why i'm balancing the budget and the next couple of years and our state constitution requires it. the previous governor paid no attention to that. i am making sure that we balance our state budget and actually i intend to cut taxes half with my first term. i believe that she -- is what we should be doing at the national level as well. host: a big issue when congress returns, what are your thoughts of barack obama's nomination to the supreme court? guest: i think we need people like her in the supreme court. i made some nominations myself at the state level and i want our courts to represent us all. and she is a fine and very strong jurist, i would say that.
i have read some of what she has published as opinions, and she is someone who is really a balanced jurist in that sense. so i have favored sonia sotomayor's nomination and i hope she gets confirmed. host: on the republican line, a christian from corpus christi, texas. caller:buenos dias -- como estas? i can't believe how much pressure you must be under to be in your particular position. guest: we all have to do what we've got to do. host: democratic line, tommy from oklahoma. caller: how are you guys doing this morning? first of all, you say -- i would say i hope your territory becomes a state, and i want to ask how come it has not become a
state yet? i don't understand, if the citizens are going to war for us all of these times, why has it not become a state? also i would like to say that it seems like you have a clear head and vision. you said earlier that you believed that and might be ok to have a government system but you also believe there should be competition. obama, when he was talking about the health care system in one of the speeches, he said i don't understand why people are afraid to let the government try because that is competition, let the government tried to get in there. i am always surprised when people did not detect a little bit. if you are a private citizen -- one i'm working as an employee, i had to pay for my own health care. the more people you have -- when i was a postal employee -- the more people you had in the system, the less money you have
to pay for that health care, and that is what this government of care is supposed to be doing and a lot of people are so fearful but if you look at other parts of the world like anti wind, germany, -- like in taiwan, germany, england, japan, they have achieved health care for their citizens. i wanted to make that point that it is possible. but i really want you to focus on how come puerto rico is not becoming a state? why do you think this is happening? guest: thank you for your call. the fact that, again, we have served in every war in the 20th- century and 21st century so far, alongside the fellow citizens of the 50 stage should suffice and be enough. when i served in congress for four years, i would visit the military hospital on a regular basis. i would visit with every soldier i would run into.